We have all fallen victim to the squirm. It arises from various sources.
The cringe igniter may be a memory of yourself long ago as an unbelievably awkward human being. It could be a moment spent witnessing the brutal faux pas of another.
However it happens, all control is lost. The shoulders hunch. The teeth clench together and the skin feels like it's shrinking. Eyebrows contort into novel positions.
For some, high school contains enough revolting moments to last a life. Others can't spend five minutes on the internet without the repulsion coming around.
One Reddit question set some list-making into motion. Here's hoping the list doesn't create new, additional cringe catalysts for readers.
Ryrylx asked, "What things REALLY make you cringe?"
"Influencers asking for support during these times." -- pataconesy
"Influenzers" -- AmzHalll
"I can't wait for the whole influencer thing to die off. I always wonder about these people. Do they have a backup plan? You have maybe a few years before you are discarded by the public eye." -- Occams_l2azor
Memory is Selective, and Unmerciful
"When I remember my high school interactions in general." -- greatplains35
"I remember one instance of being alone in a hot tub with two girls who liked me (was oblivious at the time) and proceeded to just talk about going to Warped Tour with my cousin and then proceeded to invite them inside to play Halo on the Xbox." -- Griefkilla
When It’s YOU
"The time I was talking too loud at a wedding when I wasn't supposed to and everyone at the wedding turned around to see what a**hole wouldn't shut up." -- IccyOrange
"I was across a table from some friends who did this during the reception speeches because they didn't realize what was happening."
"The bride's brother is a pretty well-known actor and happened to be five feet away from them giving his speech, which he stopped in the middle to yell at them to shut up." -- BatmanandReuben
Squirming and Desperate
"When someone is obviously lying." -- thelivingomelette
"My favorite story about that is when my grandmother had her first daughter, and after she gave birth she was told to abstain from sex for a bit to let everything heal down there."
"Her next doctor's visit she was ask if she'd been abstaining as asked. She of course lied and said yes. The doctor's response to that was, 'You're pregnant.'" -- SinfullySinatra
As Good an Identity as Any, I Suppose?
"People who always post/talk about smoking pot. You smoke that's cool, I used to but Jesus if drugs are your personality you might have a problem." -- SlugFiend138
"I'm a huge pot head and I absolutely despise it when stoners do that. Its embarrassing and makes other Cannaseurs look dumb." -- PlayDontObserve
You are Not a Tap Dance Duo. Stop.
"Shared couple Facebook accounts. Specifically where they use 'n' as the middle name." -- johnnythrash
"Or when high school girls change their Facebook last name to their boyfriend's last name after like 3 days of dating." -- VayVayLaVida13
"Thought you were gonna say, 'they use the 'n' word.'" -- L9L9L9
"Having to stick your hand into the nasty food water that has been sitting in the sink for several days to open the drain and when u remove your hand the pieces of fish and lettuce and dark matter that are stuck to it."
Before Safe Spaces Were Cool
"The time I thought I was being mature about sexuality and kept trying to tell my friends that they shouldn't be afraid of masturbation, that everyone does it, and girls do it to, hey everyone let's all tell our masturbation stories.
The Unforgetting, Unforgiving Internet
"My own voice, face, appearance, and my old YouTube channel that should've been annihilated to oblivion like years ago."
"Oh and also, touching textbook pages with semi-wet hands."
Making it About Them
"YouTube comment threads that are essentially an endless string of 'Who else is listening in 2020?!'" -- DeathSpiral321
"Also the 'came here from' comments where they say what new show they heard this song on." -- little_brown_bat
Do you have something to confess to George? Text "Secrets" or "" to +1 (310) 299-9390 to talk him about it.
A teacher can be a profoundly influential force for good. To inspire and educate a teenager is to provide a foundation for positive outcomes throughout the rest of a life.
A teacher can also conduct some of the most disturbing, inexcusable behaviors with vulnerable adolescents. These cringe maneuvers provide some of the most severe, awkward silences ever to grace the lives of every kid in class.
And those silences echo for a long time afterward. So long, in fact, that they end up on Reddit years later, when the adolescents have become internet-surfing adults.
The detail descriptions prove that those moments are tattooed on the brain for years.
dummy5678 asked, "What was the creepiest thing your teacher did?"
An Irresponsible Use of Water
"My teacher showered 6 times in one night on a residential trip when I was 10 as an excuse to walk around naked." -- Dan-0-28
"Perhaps he sh*t his pants... repeatedly." -- richoaust
"Homeschooling is weird." -- Scotthew89
"We had a teacher with a school aged daughter, like 7-9th grade. She and a friend were flipping through the TV channels and stumbled upon a live feed of their bathroom."
"Turns out he was recording these young girls in the shower."
That'll Teach that Punk Warwick
"Third grade teacher filled a bucket of water and pushed a students head in the bucket causing a sensation of drowning. (Whenever there was an unruly student he would fill a bucket of water and threaten to dunk them.)"
"One brave lad, Warwick, refused to be cowed so the teacher held his head in the bucket. This was 1970s rural Australia."
"My little sister took ceramics her freshman year high school. They had to do some project and she wanted to look on google for some references."
"She went to ask her teacher if she could use his computer, and she saw that he had a computer folder open that was full of pictures of her."
"I had a teacher in middle school who would leave the classroom door propped open 24/7 so he could see the halls from the white board. Without fail any time a cute (middle school) girl would walk by he would literally stop lecturing to stare at her when she walked by."
"He was also the baseball coach and got fired a few months after I finished his class because he was harassing the players making fun of them for dating ugly girls, or giving them props for dating cute girls. Total creep."
A Committed Level of Cringe
"As a 'treat' for being a good class, my high school economics teacher turned off the lights, used a dry erase marker as a microphone, and sang 'Truly, Madly, Deeply' by Savage Garden."-- ellWatully
"It depends, though —Like did he make eye contact with anyone During the line 'I want to bathe with you in the sea?'" -- noonegetsmyjokes
Bit of a Logical Leap, No?
"When I was in 8th grade, I was sitting by my friend and my teacher noticed this. At the end of the day, he came up to me with a creepy smile and gave me a shoulder rub. Whispering in my ear 'you're not focused in my class so I'm gonna get you focused with a shoulder rub.'"
When a Joke Gets Old QUICK
"There was a teacher in my all-girls Catholic high school who had a daughter who attended the school. When she got to the point where she was in his class, she didn't want to address him by 'Mr. (insert last name here)' because it felt awkward so she just kept calling him 'dad' or 'daddy.'"
"Not a huge deal. At first."
"Kids are weird, so it became a trend apparently for that whole class to refer to him as 'daddy.'"
"He not only allowed them to continue doing it, but actively encouraged it by 'jokingly' refusing to answer to girls who didn't call him by his 'proper title.'"
Pet Names are Never Good for Students
"I had a teacher give me a nick name... it was 'Cherry' because I had red hair and wore this cute cherry necklace that I adored because it was given to me by my best friend."
"He would walk over and grab my shoulder. And say 'how you doin little cherry'... and yeah... he would compliment me on my hair or how I dressed and would say 'you're one of the good ones cherry.'"
An Unfair (And Horrifying) Point System
"Gym teacher wasn't allowed to teach the swimming unit anymore because he gave extra credit to any female who would wear a bikini."
We all talk about the creepy things that men do in romantic or sexual settings. But to be fair, there are women (and non-binary people) who can be just as cringeworthy. Where is the line drawn between obsessive and sweet? Here are some answers from the men of Reddit.
u/Master_Lego_Yoda asked: Guys of reddit, what makes a girl creepy?
I once told a girl I was going to take a nap and then call her after. In that hour I had 17 missed calls from her.
We never spoke again.
TIL that 17 is the optimum number to break a relationship.
Not taking no for an answer, when a girl feels entitled to your attraction, it's not only a turnoff but is SUPER creepy.
It's harassment. Especially when you reject her and then she starts telling people you're a creep you tried to get nudes and wanted to do sh*t to her.
Nope, this is assault.
They keep trying to kiss you even if you say no. Had a girl keep doing this, apparently I'm in the wrong for lightly pushing her away.
Reverse the genders and it's assault.
Not even reverse the genders. That's straight up just assault.
When she changes her last name to yours on Facebook after a week of texting.
People do that?
I heard girls would try on the last names of their crush or new boyfriend, but in like a diary or notebook or something private. But this made me fear for my safety.
Don't do this.Giphy
Making up stories for attention. Once went out with a girl, who lived MILES away and she texts me one night saying 2 guys broke in to her apartment, where she lived alone, were robbing her and she was locked in the bathroom. So naturally I call the cops in her area, who go around to check on her. She then texts me going completely nuts cos I sent the cops to check on her, since you know SHE WAS BEING ROBBED IN HER OWN HOME.
Turns out it was all just attention seeking bullsh*t. Needless to say she was ghosted after that. Ladies don't do shit like this...no one benefits.
So many red flags.
When they send far too many messages, call far too many times, and in general give off the vibe that they are obsessed with you. Crying if you you can't be with them at that moment.
Or when they get incredibly possessive to the point of threats if you ever want to leave - threats of saying that you raped them in particular make you question everything. Going through your phone and deleting other women from your contacts. Making you delete certain social media/etc.
And finally, stalking behavior, running into them all the time in public places or at your home or parents house.
Pretty much red flags galore.
Good intentions, but creepy.Giphy
Had a note left on my truck when I was in the service (early 2000s). Said I was handsome and to call. I spent 22 months out of 36 at sea and we were all over the Middle East, and my time on land was short, so I took the bait. Call and it was a civilian nurse. She was really embarrassed that her "friend" put the note on my truck. Who knows if her friend was real. I don't even know how the hell they even saw me, my truck was parked at the barracks. Anyways we talk on and off for a bit, but never meeting. Next time I talk to her she says she got the beer I like.
Me - "Wait, they don't sell that in this state, or the states around here. How did you get it?"
Nurse - "I drove 3 states away to get it!"
Me - "You drove over 150 miles away to get beer for me?"
Nurse - "Yeah!"
While some might think this was amazing, having never met the woman, I thought it was a little creepy and borderline stalker... maybe if we had been dating for several months it would be cool. But not the second phone call.
Probably not exactly what you were looking for.
As a gay man, the creepiest girls are the ones that won't stop pushing for me to be their gay best friend.
Just because I'm gay doesn't mean I want to gossip and go shopping and be a stereotype.
- When they follow/friend every girl you're friends with on social media.
- When they get angry/annoyed at female customer service employees or angry/annoyed at you for interacting with female customer service employees.
- When they feel the need to constantly post pictures online to prove how happy your relationship is.
- When they talk to their friends about your sex life in graphic details.
Girl I met on this dating app for teenagers kept DM'ing me about how she didn't want me to hang out with other girls and she was just insane. Like I didn't even know her so I just blocked her.
A messed-up Elle Woods.Giphy
My husbands ex-wife got dumped by a guy who said his feeling just weren't developing as they naturally should. She concocted an entire narrative in her head that he was just so in love with her that he was actually just really scared by his true feelings.
Then shortly after proceeded to change her entire degree plan from Political Science to Psychology so that she could move from AZ to GA "for school" which just happened to be right down the street from where he lived.
Measuring the weight of a carton of yoghurt in the morning before I wake up. Then when she came home later in the day she measured it again, and it weighed the same. She flipped out and threw yoghurt at me for not taking care of myself.
I literally have a hundred different examples like that. Toxic. The breakup was hard but necessary.
Having a girl your aren't in a relationship with, telling people that you are her future husband.
It was a few years ago, and I had recently broken up with my ex-girlfriend. Hanging out with friends, one of my sister's friend was around. She was interested in me and apparently thought it was ok to tell lots of people that I was her future husband. I wasn't interested in her and never showed any interest in her. My sister even told her to knock it off, but the girl persisted.
What's even worse, she was in a relationship with another guy. Too bad he wasn't there. I'm sure he would really appreciate that kind of behavior.
After that my sister kind of distanced herself from that friend, until a year or so after when I started dating my now fiance. The crazy girl apparently asked sister who my fiance was, and said she wanted to beat up my fiance.
I got a great sister who has tried to distance herself from creepy girl, and creepy girl still tries to hang with my sister in hope that I'm single again someday.
Don't do this.Giphy
Persistence after being turned down/blatantly not interested in. Despite being fairly tall and bulky (6'2 210lbs) Im actually a pretty nice person (or so I'm told) but if I'm not interested in someone, I'm not going to dance around the fact, if they ask me out and I'm not interested I will say no. If they were my friend beforehand that doesn't change anything, unless they make it so.
One time last year when I was a junior, there was this one (I think sophomore or freshy) girl that was absolutely obsessed. Asked me out about 2 months into the year, turned her down because I was already in a dedicated relationship at the time. She was already part of a small friend group I had at the time so I didn't think anything of it. But over the course of the next week she asked me out three more times, threatened my girlfriend, followed me home once and called me 56 times, none of which I answered. She just couldn't accept that no means no and I'm fairly certain the next Monday was the first and only time I raised my voice at a girl ( yes I'm aware of this makes me sounds like a white knight but you have to keep in mind I'm this 6 ft guy and most girls at my school barely broke the 5'5 mark)
I didn't get any more grief after that.
Sounds like an HR issue.
Bro. This girl at my work keeps coming near me. And touching me. Talk about personal space. I will go work on something and she comes following me. She makes deathly stare eye contact and it gives me the creeps.
During the span of years between Kindergarten and Senior Year, a slew of horrifying actions are committed by children.
These faux pas are not entirely their fault. Nobody's brain is fully developed and for a hefty bulk of those years, everyone interacting with one another is completely at the whims of strong hormonal dynamics.
But, my God, how hilarious to look back on it all from the safety of adulthood, knowing that--hopefully--you are not so dumb or terrible or insecure or awkward anymore.
That said, we're not suddenly seamless these days either. we only grow so fast...
A Devastating Event For Anyone
Playing an icebreaker where you have to pick a cereal box off the ground with your teeth and cannot let your knees or elbows touch the ground.
I bend down but my tight khakis ripped right at the crotch level. Oh and I wasn't wearing boxers.
Picture me, squatted as low as possible teabagging a tiny piece of cardboard COMPLETELY hanging out in the middle of a circle of like 40 people.
A Plagiarist and a Hack
Did a stand-up comedy routine at the elementary school talent show that was just me retelling an entire Pinky and the Brain episode.Giphy
Maybe Get Some Butter to Get Things Movin’
Leaned too far forward in my desk and tipped it over. It was the kind where the chair is attached to the desk so I actually got stuck in it.
Everyone in the classroom watched as my TA had to run over and tip the desk back upright with me still in it.
Accidental Don Juan
I had to teach sex ed and one of the students asked me how many girls I'd been with. I panicked and said: "I have no idea" which was recieved as "So many I've lost count."
Puberty. Nuff Said.
Got caught by the Principal (she saw me through the window during her rounds) while drawing my English teacher nude during her lecture. And she showed the drawing to my father.
Love is NOT the Same as XBOX Live
In 3rd grade I wrote a love letter to a girl I liked, and signed it "iron raptor" because I thought that sounded so fu**ing cool.
When Friends Aren’t There For Ya
I had walked around school all day in light wash jeans covered in period blood.
A Crisp Fall Day, What Are You Gonna Do?
I still remember the day when we talked about Nazis (since we live in germany it was a topic about "how to spot them")... and I happened to wear EXACTLY the clothes the guys who visited the school described.
The Imperfect Crime
I had a great evening and forgot to close the tab, came in class and opens my laptop with full smile to hear AAAHHHHH HARDER PLEASE AAAAAAAAAAHHH ,Giphy
Cut Your Losses
Middle school. I'm out walking the halls for some reason. Hottest girl in school is walking up the stairs right in front of me. She trips and faceplants into the stairs.
I was so scared to talk to her that i sprinted up the stairs right past her instead of seeing if she was alright.